‘Sopranos’ Star James Gandolfini has Died of a Heart Attack
James Gandolfini was confirmed dead on June 19, 2013 following a heart attack while on vacation in Italy. He was 51-years old. HBO had this to say:
“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
James Joseph Gandolfini, Jr. was born in New Jersey in 1961. James is well-known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, which was one of HBO’s most successful shows ever. He went to college at Rutgers where he got a degree in communications. He worked as a bartender, bouncer, and truck driver, then later stumbled across acting when he took a Meisner-technique acting class with a friend. He was talented, brilliant, and dedicated; he put a lot of work into manipulating his emotions for a better performance (staying up late, walking with a rock in his shoe, and doing other things to ensure he could be angry enough for his character performances).
James also produced two acclaimed documentaries with HBO. The first documentary, Alive Day: Home from Iraq, was about returning injured soldiers from the war in Iraq and was nominated for an Emmy award. It included soldiers’ stories of trying to re-integrate into daily life, and their emotional and physical scars due to the war. Gandolfini’s second documentary, Wartorn: 1861–2010, looked at war-time PTSD throughout American history. He also served as a producer for HBO’s film Hemingway & Gellhorn, about author Ernest Hemingway’s relationship with journalist Martha Gellhorn.
He is survived by his wife, 8-month old daughter, and his son from a previous marriage.